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Rateable Māori land

Rates are payable on Māori Freehold Land (MFL), unless the land comes under one of the exceptions in the rates legislation, or Council decides to remit (not collect) or postpone collection of rates for the land.

A person actually using Māori freehold land is liable for the rates if the land is in a rating unit in multiple ownership that is not vested in a trustee; or a separate rating area.

Where trustees are liable to pay the rates on rateable Māori Freehold Land (MFL) (Sec 93 Local Government (Rating) Act 2002) trustees are to declare income received from the land to ascertain rates liability, if requested.

Rates and Remission policy review 

Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council is reviewing our Whenua Māori Remission and postponement policy in consultation with tangata whenua, the wider community, and local councils.  

Rates and Remission Eligibility tool

Use our eligibility tool below to help identify if your whenua or land block qualifies for a remission. Restart the questionnaire anytime by clicking/tapping on "START AGAIN".

I have recently taken over ownership / succeeded the land
I am an owner/ shareholder of a Māori Land block
I am a Trustee of a Māori land block
I am not an owner, shareholder or trustee, but I want to do something with a Māori land block
Recommended next step:

Please visit the Māori Land Court.

Rates changes for collectively owned Māori land

In 2021, changes were made to The Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Act 2021 for rates on land collectively owned by Māori. The changes give better recognition to communal ownership of Māori land and situations where multiple houses are on one land block. They also make unused Māori land unrateable, including land under Ngā Whenua Rāhui covenants.

The changes occurred under the Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Act 2021.

Separate rating area for Māori land blocks

From 1 July 2021, occupiers of Multiple Owned Maori Land (MOML) blocks with a dwelling can apply to have a Separate Rating Area (SRA) through your local council office.

This means individual portions of collectively owned land will be allocated to the occupiers for rating purposes, and those people would receive rating invoices directly.

It’s important to understand that this arrangement will be for rating purposes only and will not create any legal property rights.

Occupiers with an SRA will be able to apply for a rates rebate, which was not possible under the old legislation.

Provision to write off uncollectable rate

The 2021 legislation allows for chief executives to write off rates where all reasonable measures have been undertaken to collect payment.  

You can discuss these options with your local council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council. 

Non-rateable Multiple Owned Māori Land (MOML)

As a result of this legislation, chief executives will be allowed to write off rates if all reasonable measures to collect payment have been made.  

You can discuss these options with your local council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.  

Multiple Owned Māori land (MOML) blocks identified as unoccupied or undeveloped will no longer incur rates. This means that the land will not be subject to rates while it remains unoccupied or undeveloped. 

Development of Māori Freehold Land rate remissions

There is now provision for owners and developers to apply for rates remissions while Māori Freehold Land (MFL)is being developed. 

You will need to apply to both Councils for this remission.

Māori Freehold Land Occupational orders

There is no change for occupational orders that have been granted through the courts. 

However, the Māori Land Court is now required to inform councils of any occupational orders that have been granted. 

 Once notified, a new rating unit will be set up by your local council as per the occupational order. These details will be sent through to us and we will set up the rates based on this information. 

  • Occupiers of Multiple Owned Māori Land (MOML)
  • Developers of Māori Freehold Land (MFL)

The changes aim to make it easier for whānau to use, develop and live on their tūpuna whenua.

Some of the legislation being changed stretches back to the Māori Land Rating Act 1924.

Building on Māori land

If you are planning to build on Māori land, there are several things you need to consider.

Your building may need resource consent depending on the type of development and land zoning. Your local council District/City Plan sets out the rules for land use and subdivision activities in your area. Please contact your local Council’s duty planner at the start of your project to find out whether you need resource consent.

You will need a building consent for your building. If you also need resource consent you can apply for your building consent at the same time so they can be processed together.

For the building consent you will need to provide your local council with information about your site to be able to build on Māori land. You also need to provide either a licence to occupy (given by the trustees), an occupation order or a Hapū Partition (issued by the Māori Land Court).

If you receive approval to build, you may be required to pay development contributions and financial contributions when your building consent is issued. These are contributions towards the cost to Council of building infrastructure to accommodate growth within your area, please discuss this with your Local Council.

We're here to help

Your property may be eligible for a Rates Remission. We have several remission policies that are specifically for Māori Freehold Land. If you would like to know more, you can read our Rates Remission Policy.

Our Maori land rating specialists will be able to provide additional advice on options available to you.

If you think your land may be non-rateable please contact your local council about your land and rating options.

If you require a separate rating area (SRA) to be created to set up to receive separate rate invoices, or to apply for a rate rebate, please contact your local council.

Contact information